If you’re looking for a place where you can get free STI testing in Illinois, the good news is that there are many different options to choose from. 

If you’re sexually active, getting an STI test is an important way to safeguard your health. Read on to learn more about how an STI test works, when to get tested, and where to find free testing in Illinois.

How Does an STI Test Work?

STIs screen for different sexually transmitted infections. According to the CDC, the most common sexually transmitted infections are chlamydia, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, and HPV, although HIV and gonorrhea are also higher on the list. 

Depending on the type of STI you’re being screened for, you can expect to receive either a swab, blood, or urine test. Once the sample has been taken, it will be sent away to a lab for analysis—this means you won’t get your results right away. 

Should I Get Tested?

If you’re sexually active, it’s a good idea to get tested periodically, even if you aren’t having any symptoms. This is because many STIs don’t cause physical symptoms, which means you could have an active STI and not even know it.

There are also certain factors that make you more likely to get chlamydia or gonorrhea, including but not limited to: 

  • If you’re a sexually active woman under the age of 25, or if you’re older than 25 but have multiple sexual partners
  • If you’re a man who has sex with other men
  • If you’re a transgender woman who has sex with men

The factors that make you more likely to get HIV, syphilis, or hepatitis include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Having more than one sexual partner
  • Using IV drugs
  • Being pregnant
  • Being in jail or prison

If your situation falls into one of these categories, or if you’re experiencing any symptoms, it’s recommended to get an STI test as soon as possible to protect your health. 

Where Can I Get Free STI Testing?

Pregnancy resource centers are a widespread option in Illinois that typically offer free STI testing. Here at Empower Life Center in Peoria, we offer free and confidential STI testing for both men and women in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.